I recently took a much needed step back from my business and blogging. In all honesty, the past few months have been a bit of a struggle for me. Personally, I just lived through a milestone…one year of sobriety. 12 months. 365 days. Not a single drop of alcohol.
I wasn’t an alcoholic by any means. Like most of my generation, I drank when the burden of life came crashing down heavily on my shoulders. Each sip erasing the memories, removing the feelings and helping me to access the pure sensations of elation.
No sadness. No anxiety. No worries mate!
I would love to say that I stopped because of some enlightenment. Some path to higher consciousness. I tell people it is because of health reasons but that is a lie. Here it is the raw, unabridged truth…
On July 27th 2015, my entire existence came crashing down around me. It began with a knock.
One policeman. Two words.
Alcohol poisoning. Reason unknown.
A continual monologue of thoughts cycled in my head and they all led back to one, why? A small question with a never ending response. In my eyes, however, I saw only evil and it comes in a bottle.
Alcohol is the reason I no longer have a sister. She never made her 30th birthday. She will never buy her first home or get married. She will never have children or experience old age. Most of all, she will never hold me again, whisper in my ear that everything will be okay and stand by my side. I no longer have my sister.
In the worst moment of my life to date, I made a choice. I said no to squashing my feelings down by emptying a bottle. No to soothing my pain with a round of shots.
This article isn’t about the dangers of binge drinking, as we are all well aware. Nor is it about the need to restrict the service of alcohol or bullying people into abstinence. It’s about understanding and compassion.
I am tired of hearing comments like;
“You are no fun.”
“You need to relax”
“Take the edge off”
Or my favourite “What do you do if you don’t drink?”
There is a story behind everyone and we will never be completely aware of the journey someone is undertaking. I believe that compassion is the way forward. It is a simple practice that can bring about immediate and sustainable happiness to our lives. Moving past the short term gratification of alcohol and drugs, forging connections with fellow human beings that go beyond binge drinking on a Saturday night. Something that will bring true and lasting happiness. Look people in the eye, smile, greet them. Ask, “How are you?” and really listen for the response. Come back to authentic, genuine connection. The kind that sticks.